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Zinc Deficiency Pinpointed As Major Cause Of Sepsis In Hospitals

July 15, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A leading cause of death in U.S. hospitals is sepsis, a complication resulting from infection when the immune system floods the body with inflammatory chemical signals. This often results in organ failure and death – as many as 20 percent of hospital sepsis victims die. Now U.S. scientists report that a main reason for the overwhelming physical impact of sepsis is zinc deficiency. The findings seem to suggest that zinc supplementation would benefit patients at risk, but the researchers say it isn’t that easy. The body diverts zinc from the blood to the organs when a person is sick, making zinc deficiency difficult to detect. What is needed is a defined set of biomarkers identifying zinc deficiency so correct therapeutic doses could be provided.
Ming-Jie Liu et al., "Zinc Regulates the Acute Phase Response and Serum Amyloid A Production in Response to Sepsis through JAK-STAT3 Signaling. ", PLoS ONE, July 15, 2014, © Ming-Jie Liu et al.
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